FanPost

Rest of the Season and Playoff Predictions for 2012/2013

I used a playoff hypothesis to make educated guesses on which teams I believe will make the playoffs and the order in which each team will be ranked. My rankings by division were:

AFC EAST AFC West AFC South AFC North

Patriots 13-3 Broncos 13-3 Texans 14-2 Ravens 12-4

Jets 8-8 Chargers 7-9 Colts 10-6 Steelers 11-5

Bills 6-10 Raiders 4-12 Titans 5-11 Bengals 8-8

Dolphins 6-10 Jaguars 2-14 Chiefs 2-14 Browns 5-11

NFC East NFC South NFC North NFC West

Giants 10-6 Falcons 13-3 Packers 12-4 Seahawks 11-5

Redskins 9-7 Buccaneers 10-6 Bears 11-5 49ers 10-5-1

Cowboys 7-9 Saints 7-9 Vikings 6-10 Rams 7-8-1

Eagles 3-13 Panthers 4-12 Lions 5-11 Cardinals 4-12

By using my knowledge I believe I have come close to accurately predicting the records of all teams by the end of the season. If I am correct the playoff picture would look something like this.

AFC

1. Houston Texans (14-2)

2. New England Patriots (13-3)

3. Denver Broncos (13-3)

4. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)

5. Pittsburg Steelers (11-5)

6. Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

NFC

1. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)

2. Green Bay Packers (12-4)

3. Seattle Seahawks (11-5)

4. New York Giants (10-6)

5. Chicago Bears (11-5)

6. San Francisco 49ers (10-5-1)

With the outcome of the playoffs looking something like this:

Wild Card Round AFC

Indianapolis @ Denver: Colts travel to Denver for a reunion with Peyton Manning but Manning and the strong Broncos defense take down Andrew Luck and the Colts by a score of 35-21 (Broncos win)

Pittsburg @ Baltimore: After a slow mid season skid, the Steelers get off to a late playoff run where they win 5 games in a row to end the season. Now fully healthy, Roethlisberger and his receivers complimented by the number 1 defense in the nation, prevail to defeat the injuring plagued Ravens by a score of 24-10 (Steelers win)

Wild Card Round NFC

San Francisco @ Seattle: With the 49ers tough road stretch to end the season they fall out of the division lead and to the 6th seed. But if the the past few seasons have shown us anything it is that we should never count out the 6th seed in the NFC. The 49ers will get their revenge on Seattle for taking the division that they felt they owned through the entire season. They give Seattle their first home loss of the season by a score of 21-10. (49ers win)

Chicago @ New York: The Giants are very well known to play down to their inferior opponents but can also play superb football when something is on the line. In this case the season will be on the line against a solid opponent in the Chicago Bears. The Bears have definitely overachieved this year with their defense going on a scoring rampage through the middle of the season. I predict the Giants beating the lucky Bears with ease in all three aspects of the game. The final score will be 30-14 New York in a blowout in the Meadowlands. (Giants win)

Divisional Round AFC

Denver @ New England: As many know, this game will be defined by the legacy of Manning Vs. Brady. The argument for Brady has to be that their head to head records through 11 games are 7-4 in favor of Brady. In addition, Manning has a 9-8 (.529) record in the playoffs compared to Brady's 16-6 (.727). Brady's record is far superior and in three head to head match ups in the playoffs, two in the divisional rounds (2003, 2004) and one in the AFC championship (2006), Brady has gotten the better of Manning with a 2-1 record against him in the playoffs. On the other hand, the argument for Manning is in the regular season he lost his first five games to Brady from 2001-2004 and since then has gone 4-2 against him. Also, Manning's win against Brady in 2006 is considered to be one of the greatest comebacks of all time and the Manning-led colts won their first, and only, Super Bowl championship. But people may argue that the history of these the two great quarterbacks will have no influence on the outcome of this game. Brady and Manning are not young anymore, Manning is on a different team, and Brady might as well be, considering how much the Patriots have changed over the last 5 years. So how can anyone base the conclusion of this game off the past? Well I would like to say two things: First Peyton Manning in his history against the Patriots has played 5 games in New England, playoffs and regular season, he has won ONE of those games. He has posted a stat line of 1,427 yards, 8 touchdowns (4 in one game in 2010), and 11 interceptions. The only game he won was in 2005, which I'm sure all Patriots fans can agree with me on this one, was one of the most disappointing and underachieving seasons the Patriots have had in the Brady-Belichick era. These facts show Manning’s struggles in this cold weathered atmosphere. Secondly, the one constant and true advantage Brady has had throughout the 12 years of the Brady-Manning rivalry has been Bill Belichick. No one can argue the fact that the Patriots always have an advantage with this guy coaching the team. He knows and understands every part of the game whether it’s how to run an offense, the different schemes of a defense, the importance of special teams, or the science behind scouting players. Brady and Belichick have created a legacy that has triumphed over the lonely Manning and will continue to do so for years to come. New England will take this in a close one by a score of 35-33. (Patriots win)

Pittsburg @ Houston: Almost every aspect of these teams and this game are extremely close, so let me lay it out for you. First of all, if I go position by position the teams are very similar. The only clear advantage I see is at running back in favor of the Texans. Both teams have top 5 defenses, while Pittsburg is better against the pass and Houston is better against the run. Both offenses have quarterbacks who can throw the ball, as well as a receiving corps who can catch awfully well. (The receiver position is a spot where the Steelers might have an advantage because of their depth.) The Steelers offensive line could use some help but they aren't horrible, where the Texans do have a very good offensive line but this difference wont give the Texans to much of an advantage. So while the Texans do have a better o-line and much better running backs, they lack something the Steelers do indeed have and lacking such a thing can turn a great regular season team into a great playoff disappointment. The Houston Texans lack experience and while there have been very many teams throughout history who have won big games without experience, I do not see this fate for the 2012 Houston Texans. The 2012 Texans remind me of the 2010 Falcons who had a great season, probably overachieved a little, and did not know what it took to make it far in the postseason. With saying all this I see the Steelers taking the game in a nail biter, by a last second field goal by a score of 17-16. (Steelers win)

Divisional Round NFC

San Francisco @ Atlanta: In my full and honest opinion, I see the outcome of this game as pretty obvious. The Falcons are ranked 28th in the NFL at stopping the run while the 49ers are ranked second in the NFL at running the football. Furthermore, the 49ers defense is ranked second in the NFL at stopping the pass and the Falcons almost 60% of the time. This game just seems like a perfect matchup for the 49ers who will run over the Falcons in a 23-14 win in Atlanta. (49ers win)

New York @ Green Bay: We all remember this game from last year. Hakeem Nick's last second hail marry catch at the half lead to the Giants obliteration of the highly favored Packers in a 37-20 Giants win. Yes we all remember this game but so do the outraged Packers who felt like it was their Super bowl to win. This memory will be ripe in the mind of Aaron Rodgers and Clay Mathews who will seek revenge against the battered Giants. The Giants had to go through the hardest schedule in the NFL this season where they faced hardest part of the schedule in the second half. They will be tired and not as hungry as they were last year. The Packers will show them whose boss in a 4th quarter where Rodgers throws for two touchdowns and steals Eli's late game magic. The Packers win in a Green Bay by a score of 38-31. (Packers win)

AFC Championship

Pittsburg @ New England: The histories of these two great franchises consist of 5 Super Bowl championships, 8 AFC championships, and 14 divisional titles since 2001. They are the two most successful franchises over the last 11 years and continue to show their dominance through the 2012 playoffs. This season they are a team of opposites, the number one offense of the Patriots versus the number one defense of the Steelers. This seems to determine that the game will be interesting and competitive. The position-by-position analysis shows the Patriots having the advantage at Quarterback, Running back, Wide Receiver, Tight End, and Offensive line, while the Steelers have better Defensive lineman, Linebackers, Cornerbacks, and Safeties. There is no real way to predict the winner of this game because the teams’ matchup so perfectly, so I will look at the history. Brady and the Patriots seem to have the advantage there, by winning 6 of 8 games against the Steelers since 2001. Brady throughout his career has thrown the ball extremely efficiently against Pittsburg only surrendering 2 interceptions in 7 games and throwing for 14 touchdowns. So with that and the fact that the dominance by the Patriots offense this season has greatly exceeded the great play of the Steelers defense, I foresee the Patriots weapons being too much for the Steelers to handle. In a close game on a snowy night in Gillette Stadium the Patriots pull away and get their second straight Super Bowl appearance. The final score will be 30-28 New England. (Patriots win)

NFC Championship

San Francisco @ Green Bay: This game will truly be one for the ages. Who says offense cant win championships? That will be the question leading up to these two championship games. The mighty Packers led by Super Bowl Champion Aaron Rodgers and their magnificent offense versus the aggressive and hard nosed 49ers led by Patrick Willis and his incredible defense. The 49ers have now made back-to-back NFC championships and do not want this one to end the same way the last game did. They will fight hard and play their best football of the season. Games usually come down to the hardest working team who is willing to the do the little stuff to win. In this case both teams will be willing to do whatever it takes but with skill of the Packers high flying pass game and their ability to play good defense in important games I just can’t see an inexperienced quarterback in Colin Kaepernick leading his team to victory. With the wind fierce and the air freezing, Packers football will prevail in a 24-20 win in Wisconsin.

2012 Super Bowl in New Orleans

The New England Patriots Vs. The Green Bay Packers

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The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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